Open AccessCommunication
Bioinspired Design of Alcohol Dehydrogenase@nano TiO2 Microreactors for Sustainable Cycling of NAD+/NADH Coenzyme
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 127; doi:10.3390/nano8020127 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The bioinspired design and construction of enzyme@capsule microreactors with specific cell-like functionality has generated tremendous interest in recent years. Inspired by their fascinating complexity, scientists have endeavored to understand the essential aspects of a natural cell and create biomimicking microreactors so as to
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The bioinspired design and construction of enzyme@capsule microreactors with specific cell-like functionality has generated tremendous interest in recent years. Inspired by their fascinating complexity, scientists have endeavored to understand the essential aspects of a natural cell and create biomimicking microreactors so as to immobilize enzymes within the hierarchical structure of a microcapsule. In this study, simultaneous encapsulation of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) was achieved during the preparation of microcapsules by the Pickering emulsion method using amphiphilic modified TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) as building blocks for assembling the photocatalytic microcapsule membrane. The ADH@TiO2 NP microreactors exhibited dual catalytic functions, i.e., spatially confined enzymatic catalysis and the membrane-associated photocatalytic oxidation under visible light. The sustainable cycling of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) coenzyme between NADH and NAD+ was realized by enzymatic regeneration of NADH from NAD+ reduction, and was provided in a form that enabled further photocatalytic oxidation to NAD+ under visible light. This bioinspired ADH@TiO2 NP microreactor allowed the linking of a semiconductor mineral-based inorganic photosystem to enzymatic reactions. This is a first step toward the realization of sustainable biological cycling of NAD+/NADH coenzyme in synthetic functional microsystems operating under visible light irradiation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Antimicrobial Titanium Dioxide Nanotubes Obtained through a Combination of Atomic Layer Deposition and Electrospinning Technologies
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 128; doi:10.3390/nano8020128 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The search for new antimicrobial substances has increased in recent years. Antimicrobial nanostructures are one of the most promising alternatives. In this work, titanium dioxide nanotubes were obtained by an atomic layer deposition (ALD) process over electrospun polyvinyl alcohol nanofibers (PVN) at different
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The search for new antimicrobial substances has increased in recent years. Antimicrobial nanostructures are one of the most promising alternatives. In this work, titanium dioxide nanotubes were obtained by an atomic layer deposition (ALD) process over electrospun polyvinyl alcohol nanofibers (PVN) at different temperatures with the purpose of obtaining antimicrobial nanostructures with a high specific area. Electrospinning and ALD parameters were studied in order to obtain PVN with smallest diameter and highest deposition rate, respectively. Chamber temperature was a key factor during ALD process and an appropriate titanium dioxide deposition performance was achieved at 200 °C. Subsequently, thermal and morphological analysis by SEM and TEM microscopies revealed hollow nanotubes were obtained after calcination process at 600 °C. This temperature allowed complete polymer removal and influenced the resulting anatase crystallographic structure of titanium dioxide that positively affected their antimicrobial activities. X-ray analysis confirmed the change of titanium dioxide crystallographic structure from amorphous phase of deposited PVN to anatase crystalline structure of nanotubes. These new nanostructures with very large surface areas resulted in interesting antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Titanium dioxide nanotubes presented the highest activity against Escherichia coli with 5 log cycles reduction at 200 μg/mL concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles on the Immune System Biomarkers Produced by RAW 264.7 and Human Whole Blood Cell Cultures
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 125; doi:10.3390/nano8020125 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Graphene oxide nanoparticles (GONPs) have attracted a lot of attention due to their many applications. These applications include batteries, super capacitors, drug delivery and biosensing. However, few studies have investigated the effects of these nanoparticles on the immune system. In this study, the
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Graphene oxide nanoparticles (GONPs) have attracted a lot of attention due to their many applications. These applications include batteries, super capacitors, drug delivery and biosensing. However, few studies have investigated the effects of these nanoparticles on the immune system. In this study, the in vitro effects of GONPs on the immune system was evaluated by exposing murine macrophages, RAW 264.7 cells and human whole blood cell cultures (to GONPs. The effects of GONPs on RAW cells were monitored under basal conditions. The whole blood cell cultures were exposed to GONPs in the presence or absence of the mitogens lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and phytohaemmagglutinin (PHA). A number of parameters were monitored for both RAW and whole blood cell cultures, these included cytotoxicity, inflammatory biomarkers, cytokines of the acquired immune system and a proteome profile analysis. The GONPs were cytotoxic to both RAW and whole blood cell cultures at 500 μg/mL. In the absence of LPS, GONPs elicited an inflammatory response from the murine macrophage, RAW and whole blood cell cultures at 15.6 and 5 μg/mL respectively. This activation was further corroborated by proteome profile analysis of both experimental cultures. GONPs inhibited LPS induced interleukin 6 (IL-6) synthesis and PHA induced interferon gamma (IFNγ) synthesis by whole blood cell cultures in a dose dependent manner. In the absence of mitogens, GONPs stimulated IL-10 synthesis by whole blood cell cultures. The current study shows that GONPs modulate immune system biomarkers and that these may pose a health risk to individuals exposed to this type of nanoparticle. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering of Corneal Tissue through an Aligned PVA/Collagen Composite Nanofibrous Electrospun Scaffold
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 124; doi:10.3390/nano8020124 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Corneal diseases are the main reason of vision loss globally. Constructing a corneal equivalent which has a similar strength and transparency with the native cornea, seems to be a feasible way to solve the shortage of donated cornea. Electrospun collagen scaffolds are often
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Corneal diseases are the main reason of vision loss globally. Constructing a corneal equivalent which has a similar strength and transparency with the native cornea, seems to be a feasible way to solve the shortage of donated cornea. Electrospun collagen scaffolds are often fabricated and used as a tissue-engineered cornea, but the main drawback of poor mechanical properties make it unable to meet the requirement for surgery suture, which limits its clinical applications to a large extent. Aligned polyvinyl acetate (PVA)/collagen (PVA-COL) scaffolds were electrospun by mixing collagen and PVA to reinforce the mechanical strength of the collagen electrospun scaffold. Human keratocytes (HKs) and human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) inoculated on aligned and random PVA-COL electrospun scaffolds adhered and proliferated well, and the aligned nanofibers induced orderly HK growth, indicating that the designed PVA-COL composite nanofibrous electrospun scaffold is suitable for application in tissue-engineered cornea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Production of Curcumin-Loaded Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 126; doi:10.3390/nano8020126 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Curcumin, extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, has been widely used in medicine for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial effects. However, its bioavailability during treatments is poor because of its low solubility in water, slow dissolution rate
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Curcumin, extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, has been widely used in medicine for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial effects. However, its bioavailability during treatments is poor because of its low solubility in water, slow dissolution rate and rapid intestinal metabolism. For these reasons, improving the therapeutic efficiency of curcumin using nanocarriers (e.g., biopolymer nanoparticles) has been a research focus, to foster delivery of the curcumin inside cells due to their small size and large surface area. Silk fibroin from the Bombyx mori silkworm is a biopolymer characterized by its biocompatibility, biodegradability, amphiphilic chemistry, and excellent mechanical properties in various material formats. These features make silk fibroin nanoparticles useful vehicles for delivering therapeutic drugs, such as curcumin. Curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles were synthesized using two procedures (physical adsorption and coprecipitation) more scalable than methods previously described using ionic liquids. The results showed that nanoparticle formulations were 155 to 170 nm in diameter with a zeta potential of approximately −45 mV. The curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles obtained by both processing methods were cytotoxic to carcinogenic cells, while not decreasing viability of healthy cells. In the case of tumor cells, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles presented higher efficacy in cytotoxicity against neuroblastoma cells than hepatocarcinoma cells. In conclusion, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles constitute a biodegradable and biocompatible delivery system with the potential to treat tumors by local, long-term sustained drug delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Printed Graphene Derivative Circuits as Passive Electrical Filters
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 123; doi:10.3390/nano8020123 -
Abstract
The objective of this study is to inkjet print resistor-capacitor (RC) low pass electrical filters, using a novel water-based cellulose graphene ink, and compare the voltage-frequency and transient behavior to equivalent circuits constructed from discrete passive components. The synthesized non-toxic graphene-carboxymethyl
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The objective of this study is to inkjet print resistor-capacitor (RC) low pass electrical filters, using a novel water-based cellulose graphene ink, and compare the voltage-frequency and transient behavior to equivalent circuits constructed from discrete passive components. The synthesized non-toxic graphene-carboxymethyl cellulose (G-CMC) ink is deposited on mechanically flexible polyimide substrates using a customized printer that dispenses functionalized aqueous solutions. The design of the printed first-order and second-order low-pass RC filters incorporate resistive traces and interdigitated capacitors. Low pass filter characteristics, such as time constant, cut-off frequency and roll-off rate, are determined for comparative analysis. Experiments demonstrate that for low frequency applications (<100 kHz) the printed graphene derivative circuits performed as well as the circuits constructed from discrete resistors and capacitors for both low pass filter and RC integrator applications. The impact of mechanical stress due to bending on the electrical performance of the flexible printed circuits is also investigated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Diffraction Studies on the Crystallization, Phase Transformation, and Activation Energies in Anodized Titania Nanotubes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 122; doi:10.3390/nano8020122 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The influence of calcination time on the phase transformation and crystallization kinetics of anodized titania nanotube arrays was studied using in-situ isothermal and non-isothermal synchrotron radiation diffraction from room temperature to 900 °C. Anatase first crystallized at 400 °C, while rutile crystallized at
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The influence of calcination time on the phase transformation and crystallization kinetics of anodized titania nanotube arrays was studied using in-situ isothermal and non-isothermal synchrotron radiation diffraction from room temperature to 900 °C. Anatase first crystallized at 400 °C, while rutile crystallized at 550 °C. Isothermal heating of the anodized titania nanotubes by an increase in the calcination time at 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, and 650 °C resulted in a slight reduction in anatase abundance, but an increase in the abundance of rutile because of an anatase-to-rutile transformation. The Avrami equation was used to model the titania crystallization mechanism and the Arrhenius equation was used to estimate the activation energies of the titania phase transformation. Activation energies of 22 (10) kJ/mol for the titanium-to-anatase transformation, and 207 (17) kJ/mol for the anatase-to-rutile transformation were estimated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity of Pristine and Chemically Functionalized Fullerenes to White Rot Fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 120; doi:10.3390/nano8020120 -
Abstract
Fullerenes are widely produced and applied carbon nanomaterials that require a thorough investigation into their environmental hazards and risks. In this study, we compared the toxicity of pristine fullerene (C60) and carboxylated fullerene (C60-COOH) to white rot fungus Phanerochaete
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Fullerenes are widely produced and applied carbon nanomaterials that require a thorough investigation into their environmental hazards and risks. In this study, we compared the toxicity of pristine fullerene (C60) and carboxylated fullerene (C60-COOH) to white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. The influence of fullerene on the weight increase, fibrous structure, ultrastructure, enzyme activity, and decomposition capability of P. chrysosporium was investigated to reflect the potential toxicity of fullerene. C60 did not change the fresh and dry weights of P. chrysosporium but C60-COOH inhibited the weight gain at high concentrations. Both C60 and C60-COOH destroyed the fibrous structure of the mycelia. The ultrastructure of P. chrysosporium was changed by C60-COOH. Pristine C60 did not affect the enzyme activity of the P. chrysosporium culture system while C60-COOH completely blocked the enzyme activity. Consequently, in the liquid culture, P. chrysosporium lost the decomposition activity at high C60-COOH concentrations. The decreased capability in degrading wood was observed for P. chrysosporium exposed to C60-COOH. Our results collectively indicate that chemical functionalization enhanced the toxicity of fullerene to white rot fungi and induced the loss of decomposition activity. The environmental risks of fullerene and its disturbance to the carbon cycle are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Antitumor Effects of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Targetable Cetuximab-Conjugated Polymeric Micelles for Photodynamic Therapy
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 121; doi:10.3390/nano8020121 -
Abstract
Nanocarrier-based delivery systems are promising strategies for enhanced therapeutic efficacy and safety of toxic drugs. Photodynamic therapy (PDT)—a light-triggered chemical reaction that generates localized tissue damage for disease treatments—usually has side effects, and thus patients receiving photosensitizers should be kept away from direct
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Nanocarrier-based delivery systems are promising strategies for enhanced therapeutic efficacy and safety of toxic drugs. Photodynamic therapy (PDT)—a light-triggered chemical reaction that generates localized tissue damage for disease treatments—usually has side effects, and thus patients receiving photosensitizers should be kept away from direct light to avoid skin phototoxicity. In this study, a clinically therapeutic antibody cetuximab (C225) was conjugated to the surface of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(lactide) (mPEG-b-PLA) micelles via thiol-maleimide coupling to allow tumor-targetable chlorin e6 (Ce6) delivery. Our results demonstrate that more C225-conjugated Ce6-loaded polymeric micelles (C225-Ce6/PM) were selectively taken up than Ce6/PM or IgG conjugated Ce6/PM by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-overexpressing A431 cells observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), thereby decreasing the IC50 value of Ce6-mediated PDT from 0.42 to 0.173 μM. No significant differences were observed in cellular uptake study or IC50 value between C225-Ce6/PM and Ce6/PM groups in lower EGFR expression HT-29 cells. For antitumor study, the tumor volumes in the C225-Ce6/PM-PDT group (percentage of tumor growth inhibition, TGI% = 84.8) were significantly smaller than those in the Ce6-PDT (TGI% = 38.4) and Ce6/PM-PDT groups (TGI% = 53.3) (p < 0.05) at day 21 through reduced cell proliferation in A431 xenografted mice. These results indicated that active EGFR targeting of photosensitizer-loaded micelles provides a possible way to resolve the dose-limiting toxicity of conventional photosensitizers and represents a potential delivery system for PDT in a clinical setting. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Visualization of MMP-2 Activity Using Dual-Probe Nanoparticles to Detect Potential Metastatic Cancer Cells
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 119; doi:10.3390/nano8020119 -
Abstract
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent enzymes capable of degrading extracellular matrix components. Previous studies have shown that the upregulation of MMP-2 is closely related to metastatic cancers. While Western blotting, zymography, and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) can be used to
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Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent enzymes capable of degrading extracellular matrix components. Previous studies have shown that the upregulation of MMP-2 is closely related to metastatic cancers. While Western blotting, zymography, and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) can be used to measure the amount of MMP-2 activity, it is not possible to visualize the dynamic MMP-2 activities of cancer cells using these techniques. In this study, MMP-2-activated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) with polyethylenimine (MMP-2-PLGA-PEI) nanoparticles were developed to visualize time-dependent MMP-2 activities. The MMP-2-PLGA-PEI nanoparticles contain MMP-2-activated probes that were detectable via fluorescence microscopy only in the presence of MMP-2 activity, while the Rhodamine-based probes in the nanoparticles were used to continuously visualize the location of the nanoparticles. This approach allowed us to visualize MMP-2 activities in cancer cells and their microenvironment. Our results showed that the MMP-2-PLGA-PEI nanoparticles were able to distinguish between MMP-2-positive (HaCat) and MMP-2-negative (MCF-7) cells. While the MMP-2-PLGA-PEI nanoparticles gave fluorescent signals recovered by active recombinant MMP-2, there was no signal recovery in the presence of an MMP-2 inhibitor. In conclusion, MMP-2-PLGA-PEI nanoparticles are an effective tool to visualize dynamic MMP-2 activities of potential metastatic cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Brief Note on the Magnetowetting of Magnetic Nanofluids on AAO Surfaces
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 118; doi:10.3390/nano8020118 -
Abstract
In magnetowetting, the material properties of liquid, surface morphology of solid, and applied external field are three major factors used to determine the wettability of a liquid droplet on a surface. For wetting measurements, an irregular or uneven surface could result in a
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In magnetowetting, the material properties of liquid, surface morphology of solid, and applied external field are three major factors used to determine the wettability of a liquid droplet on a surface. For wetting measurements, an irregular or uneven surface could result in a significant experimental uncertainty. The periodic array with a hexagonal symmetry structure is an advantage of the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) structure. This study presents the results of the wetting properties of magnetic nanofluid sessile droplets on surfaces of various AAO pore sizes under an applied external magnetic field. Stable, water-based magnetite nanofluids are prepared by combining the chemical co-precipitation with the sol-gel technique, and AAO surfaces are then generated by anodizing the aluminum sheet in the beginning. The influence of pore size and magnetic field gradient on the magnetowetting of magnetic nanofluids on AAO surfaces is then investigated by an optical test system. Experimental results show that increasing the processing voltage of AAO templates could result in enhanced non-wettability behavior; that is, the increase in AAO pore size could lead to the increase in contact angle. The contact angle could be reduced by the applied magnetic field gradient. In general, the magnetic field has a more significant effect at smaller AAO pore sizes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Promotion of Vascular Morphogenesis of Endothelial Cells Co-Cultured with Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Using Polycaprolactone/Gelatin Nanofibrous Scaffolds
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 117; doi:10.3390/nano8020117 -
Abstract
New blood vessel formation is essential for tissue regeneration to deliver oxygen and nutrients and to maintain tissue metabolism. In the field of tissue engineering, in vitro fabrication of new artificial vessels has been a longstanding challenge. Here we developed a technique to
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New blood vessel formation is essential for tissue regeneration to deliver oxygen and nutrients and to maintain tissue metabolism. In the field of tissue engineering, in vitro fabrication of new artificial vessels has been a longstanding challenge. Here we developed a technique to reconstruct a microvascular system using a polycaprolactone (PCL)/gelatin nanofibrous structure and a co-culture system. Using a simple electrospinning process, we fabricated three-dimensional mesh scaffolds to support the sprouting of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) along the electrospun nanofiber. The co-culture with adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) supported greater sprouting of endothelial cells (ECs). In a two-dimensional culture system, angiogenic cell assembly produced more effective direct intercellular interactions and paracrine signaling from ADSCs to assist in the vascular formation of ECs, compared to the influence of growth factor. Although vascular endothelial growth factor and sphingosine-1-phosphate were present during the culture period, the presence of ADSCs was the most important factor for the construction of a cell-assembled structure in the two-dimensional culture system. On the contrary, HUVECs co-cultured on PCL/gelatin nanofiber scaffolds produced mature and functional microvessel and luminal structures with a greater expression of vascular markers, including platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 and podocalyxin. Furthermore, both angiogenic factors and cellular interactions with ADSCs through direct contact and paracrine molecules contributed to the formation of enhanced engineered blood vessel structures. It is expected that the co-culture system of HUVECs and ADSCs on bioengineered PCL/gelatin nanofibrous scaffolds will promote robust and functional microvessel structures and will be valuable for the regeneration of tissue with restored blood vessels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Memristic Characteristics from Bistable to Tristable Memory with Controllable Charge Trap Carbon Nanotubes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 114; doi:10.3390/nano8020114 -
Abstract
The incorporation of the one-dimensional carbon nanomaterial carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) was found to successfully develop a resistive switching. It implements memristic characteristics which shift from bistable to tristable memory. The localized current pathways in the organic nanocomposite layers for
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The incorporation of the one-dimensional carbon nanomaterial carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) was found to successfully develop a resistive switching. It implements memristic characteristics which shift from bistable to tristable memory. The localized current pathways in the organic nanocomposite layers for each intermediate resistive state (IRS) are attributed to the trapping mechanism consistent with the fluorescent measurements. Multi-bit organic memories have attracted considerable interest, which provide an effective way to increase the memory density per unit cell area. This study will be useful for the development and tuning of multi-bit storable organic nanocomposite memory device systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functionalized Asymmetric Bola-Type Amphiphiles for Efficient Gene and Drug Delivery
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 115; doi:10.3390/nano8020115 -
Abstract
The studies of bolaamphiphile-based nanoparticles as delivery vectors are still rudimentary and under development. In this study, several asymmetric bolaamphiphiles containing lysine and another moiety with special functions, such as pH-sensitive or cell-targeting property, were designed and synthesized. The potentials of these bolaamphiphile-based
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The studies of bolaamphiphile-based nanoparticles as delivery vectors are still rudimentary and under development. In this study, several asymmetric bolaamphiphiles containing lysine and another moiety with special functions, such as pH-sensitive or cell-targeting property, were designed and synthesized. The potentials of these bolaamphiphile-based nanoparticles as versatile vectors for both nucleic acids and chemical drugs were studied. With the presence of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), these amphiphiles could be prepared into bolasomes, which showed good DNA binding ability and could condense plasmid DNA into nanoparticles with appropriate size and surface potential. Lys-His, which has a pH-sensitive histidine on one head, exhibited higher transfection efficiency than the symmetric counterpart and comparable efficiency to commercially available transfection reagent. Mechanism studies confirmed that the bolaplexes formed from Lys-His might induce the highest cellular uptake and the best endosomal escape ability. On the other hand, these bolaamphiphiles also exhibited good drug loading ability. The self-assembly vesicles could efficiently encapsulate the hydrophobic anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) in aqueous solution with high drug loading content and encapsulation efficiency. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) experiment and cell viability assay exhibited a controlled release of the drug with the assistance of bolasomes. It was shown that such bolaamphiphiles have great potential as nano-vectors for both drug and gene or their co-delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nanocantilevers with Adjustable Static Deflection and Significantly Tunable Spectrum Resonant Frequencies for Applications in Nanomechanical Mass Sensors
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 116; doi:10.3390/nano8020116 -
Abstract
Nanocantilevers have become key components of nanomechanical sensors that exploit changes in their resonant frequencies or static deflection in response to the environment. It is necessary that they can operate at a given, but adjustable, resonant frequency and/or static deflection ranges. Here we
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Nanocantilevers have become key components of nanomechanical sensors that exploit changes in their resonant frequencies or static deflection in response to the environment. It is necessary that they can operate at a given, but adjustable, resonant frequency and/or static deflection ranges. Here we propose a new class of nanocantilevers with a significantly tunable spectrum of the resonant frequencies and changeable static deflection utilizing the unique properties of a phase-transforming NiTi film sputtered on the usual nanotechnology cantilever materials. The reversible frequency tuning and the adjustable static deflection are obtained by intentionally changing the Young’s modulus and the interlayer stress of the NiTi film during its phase transformation, while the usual cantilever elastic materials guarantee a high frequency actuation (up to tens of MHz). By incorporating the NiTi phase transformation characteristic into the classical continuum mechanics theory we present theoretical models that account for the nanocantilever frequency shift and variation in static deflection caused by a phase transformation of NiTi film. Due to the practical importance in nanomechanical sensors, we carry out a complete theoretical analysis and evaluate the impact of NiTi film on the cantilever Young’s modulus, static deflection, and the resonant frequencies. Moreover, the importance of proposed NiTi nanocantilever is illustrated on the nanomechanical based mass sensors. Our findings will be of value in the development of advanced nanotechnology sensors with intentionally-changeable physical and mechanical properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Characterization of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Loaded with a Highly Active Doxorubicin Derivative
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 110; doi:10.3390/nano8020110 -
Abstract
Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) comprise a versatile drug delivery system that has been developed for the treatment of a variety of diseases. The present study will investigate the feasibility of entrapping an active doxorubicin prodrug (a squalenoyl-derivative) in SLNs. The doxorubicin derivative-loaded SLNs
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Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) comprise a versatile drug delivery system that has been developed for the treatment of a variety of diseases. The present study will investigate the feasibility of entrapping an active doxorubicin prodrug (a squalenoyl-derivative) in SLNs. The doxorubicin derivative-loaded SLNs are spherically shaped, have a mean diameter of 300–400 nm and show 85% w/w drug entrapment efficiency. The effects on cell growth of loaded SLNs, free doxorubicin and the prodrug have been examined using cytotoxicity and colony-forming assays in both human ovarian cancer line A2780 wild-type and doxorubicin-resistant cells. Further assessments as to the treatment’s ability to induce cell death by apoptosis have been carried out by analyzing annexin-V staining and the activation of caspase-3. The in vitro data demonstrate that the delivery of the squalenoyl-doxorubicin derivative by SLNs increases its cytotoxic activity, as well as its apoptosis effect. This effect was particularly evident in doxorubicin-resistant cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Nano-TiO2 Lubricating Fluid on the Hot Rolled Surface and Metallographic Structure of SS41 Steel
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 111; doi:10.3390/nano8020111 -
Abstract
In this paper, nano-TiO2lubricating fluid was chosen as an advanced rolling lubricant to investigate its effect on the hot rolled surface and metallographic structure of SS41 steel strips. The tribological performances of nano-TiO2 lubricating fluid were measured by a four-ball tribotester. The hot
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In this paper, nano-TiO2lubricating fluid was chosen as an advanced rolling lubricant to investigate its effect on the hot rolled surface and metallographic structure of SS41 steel strips. The tribological performances of nano-TiO2 lubricating fluid were measured by a four-ball tribotester. The hot rolling experiments under different lubrication conditions were carried out by a four-high rolling mill. The surface morphology, oxide scales and metallographic structure after hot rolling were observed using a confocal laser scanning microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM), respectively. The composition of surface attachments was analyzed with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results indicate that the nano-TiO2 lubricating fluid has a better tribological performance. The surface defects on the hot rolled surface could be decreased. The phase composition of the surface still appears as a mixture of ferrite and pearlite. The surface of steel strips is not micro-alloyed with titanium as predicted. Additionally, the grain size of rolled steel strips which were lubricated with the nano-TiO2lubricating fluid decreased by nearly 50%, compared with traditional lubricating fluid. Furthermore, it was found that the thickness of the oxide layers on the surface reduced, whilst the Rockwell hardness of the oxide layers was enhanced as nano-TiO2 lubricating fluid was applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
2D SnO2 Nanosheets: Synthesis, Characterization, Structures, and Excellent Sensing Performance to Ethylene Glycol
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 112; doi:10.3390/nano8020112 -
Abstract
Two dimensional (2D)SnO2 nanosheets were synthesized by a substrate-free hydrothermal route using sodium stannate and sodium hydroxide in a mixed solvent of absolute ethanol and deionized water at a lower temperature of 130 °C. The characterization results of the morphology, microstructure, and
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Two dimensional (2D)SnO2 nanosheets were synthesized by a substrate-free hydrothermal route using sodium stannate and sodium hydroxide in a mixed solvent of absolute ethanol and deionized water at a lower temperature of 130 °C. The characterization results of the morphology, microstructure, and surface properties of the as-prepared products demonstrated that SnO2 nanosheets with a tetragonal rutile structure, were composed of oriented SnO2 nanoparticles with a diameter of 6–12 nm. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (FETEM) results demonstrated that the dominant exposed surface of the SnO2 nanoparticles was (101), but not (110). The growth and formation was supposed to follow the oriented attachment mechanism. The SnO2 nanosheets exhibited an excellent sensing response toward ethylene glycol at a lower optimal operating voltage of 3.4 V. The response to 400 ppm ethylene glycol reaches 395 at 3.4 V. Even under the low concentration of 5, 10, and 20 ppm, the sensor exhibited a high response of 6.9, 7.8, and 12.0 to ethylene glycol, respectively. The response of the SnO2 nanosheets exhibited a linear dependence on the ethylene glycol concentration from 5 to 1000 ppm. The excellent sensing performance was attributed to the present SnO2 nanoparticles with small size close to the Debye length, the larger specific surface, the high-energy exposed facets of the (101) surface, and the synergistic effects of the SnO2 nanoparticles of the nanosheets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Small-Sized Mg–Al LDH Nanosheets Supported on Silica Aerogel with Large Pore Channels: Textural Properties and Basic Catalytic Performance after Activation
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 113; doi:10.3390/nano8020113 -
Abstract
Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) have been widely used as an important subset of solid base catalysts. However, developing low-cost, small-sized LDH nanoparticles with enhanced surface catalytic sites remains a challenge. In this work, silica aerogel (SA)-supported, small-sized Mg–Al LDH nanosheets were successfully prepared
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Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) have been widely used as an important subset of solid base catalysts. However, developing low-cost, small-sized LDH nanoparticles with enhanced surface catalytic sites remains a challenge. In this work, silica aerogel (SA)-supported, small-sized Mg–Al LDH nanosheets were successfully prepared by one-pot coprecipitation of Mg and Al ions in an alkaline suspension of crushed silica aerogel. The supported LDH nanosheets were uniformly dispersed in the SA substrate with the smallest average radial diameter of 19.2 nm and the thinnest average thickness of 3.2 nm, both dimensions being significantly less than those of the vast majority of LDH nanoparticles reported. The SA/LDH composites also showed large pore volume (up to 1.3 cm3·g) and pore diameter (>9 nm), and therefore allow efficient access of reactants to the edge catalytic sites of LDH nanosheets. In a base-catalyzed Henry reaction of benzaldehyde with nitromethane, the SA/LDH catalysts showed high reactant conversions and favorable stability in 6 successive cycles of reactions. The low cost of the SA carrier and LDH precursors, easy preparation method, and excellent catalytic properties make these SA/LDH composites a competitive example of solid-base catalysts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Polarized Spectroscopy to Investigate Order in Thin-Films of Ionic Self-Assembled Materials Based on Azo-Dyes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 109; doi:10.3390/nano8020109 -
Abstract
Three series of ionic self-assembled materials based on anionic azo-dyes and cationic benzalkonium surfactants were synthesized and thin films were prepared by spin-casting. These thin films appear isotropic when investigated with polarized optical microscopy, although they are highly anisotropic. Here, three series of
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Three series of ionic self-assembled materials based on anionic azo-dyes and cationic benzalkonium surfactants were synthesized and thin films were prepared by spin-casting. These thin films appear isotropic when investigated with polarized optical microscopy, although they are highly anisotropic. Here, three series of homologous materials were studied to rationalize this observation. Investigating thin films of ordered molecular materials relies to a large extent on advanced experimental methods and large research infrastructure. A statement that in particular is true for thin films with nanoscopic order, where X-ray reflectometry, X-ray and neutron scattering, electron microscopy and atom force microscopy (AFM) has to be used to elucidate film morphology and the underlying molecular structure. Here, the thin films were investigated using AFM, optical microscopy and polarized absorption spectroscopy. It was shown that by using numerical method for treating the polarized absorption spectroscopy data, the molecular structure can be elucidated. Further, it was shown that polarized optical spectroscopy is a general tool that allows determination of the molecular order in thin films. Finally, it was found that full control of thermal history and rigorous control of the ionic self-assembly conditions are required to reproducibly make these materials of high nanoscopic order. Similarly, the conditions for spin-casting are shown to be determining for the overall thin film morphology, while molecular order is maintained. Full article